Teams: UC Davis vs. UC Santa Barbara
Records: Aggies, 8-10 (3-2); Gauchos, 8-9 (2-3)
Where: The Pavilion
When: Today at 7 p.m.
Who to watch: Vince Oliver saved his best for last.
The senior guard is having a career year, leading the Big West Conference with 19.8 points on 55.9 percent shooting through the first five games of league play. Last week, Oliver averaged 25.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in a pair of UC Davis road wins, earning him Big West Conference Player of the Week.
Did you know? Two UC Davis players have at least one former high school teammate on the UCSB roster.
Dominic Calegari and Gauchos freshman Will Brew teamed up in 2004-2005 at St. Mary’s High in Berkeley, Calif. That year, St. Mary’s finished as the Division IV State Champion runner-ups on a team that also featured UC Riverside’s Larry Gurganious.
Likewise, the Aggies‘ Ryan Silva was a prep teammate of juniors Paul Roemer and Justin Joyner at De La Salle High in Concord, Calif. In 2005-2006, Silva, Roemer and Joyner were Division I State Champions.
Joyner is redshirting this year following offseason wrist surgery, and Roemer is doubtful with a shoulder injury. The other three players will be in action tonight.
Preview: UC Davis wants to run the table at home, and to do that, coach Gary Stewart is looking for the fans‘ help.
“To the Aggie faithful: We really need your support,“ Stewart said. “We’re starting to make some inroads in this conference, and the next stage for us is to win all of our home games. We need to make that environment as difficult as possible.“
Fans have plenty of reasons to make it out tonight and the rest of the season.
UC Davis is a legitimate contender to win the conference and receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. It enters tonight riding a two-game winning streak after picking up a pair of road wins at Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine.
In five Big West games, it leads the league with 79.4 points per game and a scorching 51.1 team field goal percentage.
The Aggies‘ top-rated offense and much-improved defense both figure to be on display tonight against the Gauchos.
UCSB is the Big West’s defending regular-season champion and is coming off of a National Invitational Tournament berth.
Individually, the Gauchos are led by Chris Devine, a forward from Eagle River, Alaska. The 24-year-old senior paces the team offensively with 14.1 points per game on 51.7 percent shooting. He is also second on the team in rebounding (5.8).